Meeting the Man from the Future
by Jane Williams
We meet by chance one autumn evening
the wind blowing intermittent gusts propelling
old gold leaves along the street outside a pub
named for whalers who drank there centuries
before and where now the man from the future
takes my hand, raises and kisses it lightly.
He is telling me the earth and the moon
are lovers, the whales too and the ghosts
of whales. His intelligence is at turns fierce
and tender, one minute a clear challenge
to preconception, the next shot through,
all reason escaping beneath a bifocal fog.
Homesick, he waxes lyrical about where
and when he’s from, the ease of light rail
between the tenses. Though he admits
he’s stuck at present—a small glitch—
and I find myself nodding a kind of collusion
because we can only imagine what we don’t yet know:
the pub behind us serving good old days on tap,
the light ahead seeming to bend just so.
Copyright © 2019 by Jane Williams